In my continuing quest to find media that prominently feature kick-ass women, I have come across examples of such that well…haven’t measured up. In some of these, a potentially kick-ass character was disappointingly wimpy. Or the actor/actress couldn’t pull off the role convincingly. In others, the movie was not great. In still other cases, the movie just plain sucked. Here’s the list of my biggest disappointments. As with previous lists, movies are ordered by year produced/released. With one big exception: I’m saving my all-time biggest disappointment for the end of the list.
9 kick-ass women movies I hoped would be better:
- …coming up at the end of the post…
- Cutthroat Island (1995)
I really want to like this movie, and it has its moments. Geena Davis plays a pirate. How cool is that? Lots of action, fight scenes, chase scenes, etc. And Geena Davis plays a pirate. But somehow, unfortunately, it’s just not that good a movie. But Geena Davis plays a pirate!
- The Fifth Element (1997)
I remember looking forward to this one, since I’ve liked Besson’s other movies, and since it appeared to prominently feature a kick-ass woman. I saw it in the theater. However, I found the movie to be generally pretty forgettable. (As in, at this point, I don’t remember much beyond some bright colors and some irritation with Bruce Willis.)
- Star Wars: Episode I – the Phantom Menace (1999)
This movie disappointed so many in so many ways. One of the ways in which it disappointed me was that I thought there was an opportunity for Natalie Portman to kick some ass. I was unimpressed. (And things just got worse in Episode II…)
- Rush Hour 2 (2001)
Another movie I don’t remember too well. This one has Zhang Ziyi, playing a kick-ass villainous type. Problem is, she seems pretty unstrung, from what I remember. And of course, she’s not the star, so her character doesn’t get to win.
- Tomb Raider (2001)
While Angelina Jolie did kick ass moderately well in this, the movie was pretty weak overall. I do remember a few cool fight scenes. I should probably give it another chance.
- Daredevil (2003)
Another movie I really wanted to like. Probably because of Kevin Smith‘s involvement, as well as being a comic book/superhero movie. But let’s face it. Ben Affleck is just not convincing as a superhero. But Jennifer Garner kicked ass as Elektra in spite of things. At least in the fight scenes.
- Underworld (2003)
I loved Kate Beckinsale in Cold Comfort Farm (one of my all-time favorite movies, though not in the kick-ass woman genre). However, this movie was…well…not great. And Kate was not terribly convincing in an action role.
- Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003)
I’m not sure what was going on with this movie. I found the first one entertaining and funny. This one just pained me.
And here it is. My all time biggest disappointment in a movie in the kick-ass women category:
- The Avengers (1998)
How could they???
To say that The Avengers (1998) movie disappointed me would be like saying Everest is a pretty big mountain. That eating the chicken salad sandwich you left in your car all one hot July day may lead to stomach upset. That the Hindenberg disaster was the result of an unfortunate mishap. What I’m saying is that this movie was a gigantic, mountainous gut-spewing fireball of a disaster.
Okay, perhaps I exaggerate. In that my expectations were pretty low, so I supposed the disappointment level couldn’t have been that extreme. But please understand that I love the Avengers show, at least in its 1965-1967 incarnation. That I have idolized the character Emma Peel, as portrayed by Diana Rigg, since my formative teenage years.
This movie had a variety of “flaws” (Ralph Fiennes’ cardboard performance as Steed, the inclusion of the character “Mother,” Sean Connery’s unconvincing role as a megavillain, to name a few), which could have been overlooked if only the portrayal of the character Emma Peel had been appropriately…like Emma Peel. But she just wasn’t. Uma didn’t cut it.
I actually got a fair amount of enjoyment, after I saw the movie, just from ranting about how many things they got wrong. Believe it or not, I want to watch it again. So that I can relive those rants, and perhaps share them here.